dry skin on feet

How to Treat Dry Feet

Tips for getting rid of dry skin on feet

Your feet bear your entire weight every day, so it's no surprise that dry feet are so common. But that doesn't mean you have to live with cracked feet forever, follows NIVEA's advice to relieve and hydrate feet to prevent them from getting dry.

What causes dry skin on feet?

There are many causes of dry feet, developing dry feet can be something obvious like your lifestyle. A poor diet, lots of walking and exercise or just a poor foot care routine. Follow NIVEA's advice on how to treat dry feet and finally feel relief.

Why are your feet so dry? Causes of dry feet

Dry feet and cracked soles are more common that dry skin in other parts of our body because they lack any oil glands, especially on the soles of the feet. The lack of oil leads to dehydration, one of the most significant causes of dry skin. Feet instead rely on sweat glands to stay moisturised. Read more on the causes of dry skin with NIVEA.

Your foot is also under constant pressure all day from standing, walking and exercising bearing the brunt of our entire body weight. This can cause hard, dry, callous skin forming on the pressure points in our feet, which is one of the causes of dry skin on feet. This can be especially prominent when if you stand on your feet more often than the average person or do a lot of exercise/start a new exercise regime, leading to sore cracked feet developing.

It's important to employ good foot-care by applying a moisturising foot lotion such as NIVEA Lotion - Dry Skin. It's important to try and prevent dry feet and flaky skin rather than wait to treat it. so using a moisturiser every night of the week as a routine will help treat dry skin on feet.

If you do develop dry, cracked feet try using a nourishing lotion twice a day, once after a bath or shower and once before bed to re-hydrate dry feet. 


With a good skincare routine, treating dry skin on feet doesn't have to be an uphill struggle.

Dry Feet Treatment - Cleanse and Moisturise

When caring for cracked feet it's important not only to moisturise but cleanse. Sweat and dirt can become trapped in the dead cells developing bacteria (and odour) that can cause dry feet to get even worse.

To treat dry feet thoroughly cleanse your feet with a moisturising body wash such as NIVEA Fresh Moisture Acai Berry Shower Gel and follow up with some gentle exfoliation of the foot area a few times a week, even using a pumice stone followed up with a moisturiser to brush off dead skin.

NIVEA Rich Nourishing Body Lotion is ideal for applying post-shower, as it can absorb quickly into the skin. With moisture that lasts all day long, you can look forward to fresh, smooth and healthy looking feet in no time. Continued use after the problem's ended helps prevent new dry skin or cracked feet forming.

Exfoliate your Dry Feet

foot close up

Use a pumice stone to remove dry, dead skin to reveal new softer layers of skin underneath. When exfoliating use gentle circles and rinse afterwards. Once you're done exfoliating the cracked skin on feet it's best to use a highly moisturising lotion, the new softer skin should absorb moisturiser quicker and healthier than dry skin.

Read our how to exfoliate guide for more advice.

Dry Feet and Sock Choice


You (presumably) wear socks almost all day along, and if you have dry skin on feet it could mean that bacteria that contributes to dry skin is transferred to the sock and vice versa. Making sure you're wearing clean, breathable socks all the time to avoid cracked skin on your feet. After exercising you should change your socks if you're unable to shower straight away and never rewear socks without washing them first.

Having socks that allow your feet to breath can prevent dry feet and help to treat dry skin on feet. Cotton socks are lighter and cooler than synthetic socks and help stop foot odour.

Top tips for taking care of dry feet

  • Prevention is better than treatment! Ensure you have a good diet and skincare routine, as these will help to stop skin from drying out.
  • Make sure you're drinking enough water - a lack of hydration will have an impact on your skin. Specifically, dehydration will stimulate dry skin on your feet remaining.
  • Increase circulation to the feet; by improving diet, exercising more, maintaining a health weight, not smoking and improving leg posture.

  • Use a humidifier to stop the air around you from drying out. If the air dries out too much, it can lead to skin drying out too, causing dry skin on the feet.

  • Try to shower and bath in lukewarm water instead of hot. If the temperature is too hot it'll lead to dry and often sore skin.

  • Use products designed to provide hydration to the skin, and avoid any products with too much ethyl alcohol in them.

  • Try an in-shower body milk, such as our NIVEA In-Shower Body Moisturiser for Dry Skin, to help prevent dry skin on the feet caused by hot showers

Don't scratch your feet

taking care of feet

There's temptation to try and scratch the flaky skin on your feet. It can be itchy and uncomfortable but scratching can lead to spreading bacteria, and also lead to cracked skin on your feet and cuts.

The spreading of bacteria can lead to spots, infections and sore feet. Instead of scratching apply a cold flannel to soothe itchy feet or gently cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise.